Summer-Hill Creek. below Lewis Ponds. Gold Washing.

Rare lithograph of gold mining in New South Wales in 1851 by the important colonial artist, George French Angas. Angas of Ophir are the best record of the gold discoveries at Ophir. Angas visited the gold fields soon after the … Read Full Description

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S/N: VGRA-002-NC–219756
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Full Title:

Summer-Hill Creek. below Lewis Ponds. Gold Washing.




Small perforation on left margin and repaired tear at top margin, otherwise in good condition.


Hand coloured lithograph.

Image Size: 

x 250mm

Paper Size: 

x 340mm
Summer-Hill Creek. below Lewis Ponds. Gold Washing. - Antique View from 1851

Genuine antique



Rare lithograph of gold mining in New South Wales in 1851 by the important colonial artist, George French Angas. Angas of Ophir are the best record of the gold discoveries at Ophir. Angas visited the gold fields soon after the discovery of gold and published his lithographs on 19 July 1851 – only three months later.

From: Angas, G.F., Views of the gold field of Ophir, at Summerhill and Lewis Ponds Creeks.

Shows Summer Hill Creek and Ophir, the first payable goldfield in Australia. Edward Hammond Hargraves organised the first NSW prospecting trip to discover gold in 1851, having persuaded John Lister to guide him to Lewis Ponds Creek with the promise he would show Lister where to find gold. They arrived at Lewis Ponds and Summer Hill Creek on 12 February 1851 and Hargraves instructed Lister in the gold cradling techniques he had learnt during the Californian gold rushes. Between 7 and 12 of April 1851, Lister recovered about 4 oz of payable gold from the site and soon after, thousands of gold seekers had left Sydney and Melbourne to join the Ophir gold rush.

From, Angas’s, Views of the Gold Regions of Australia, drawn on the spot by George French Angas.

The first of the scenes-Gold – washing at Summerhill Creek is one of our favourites. The view is taken from a point about half a mile below the junction of the Summerhill and the Lewis Ponds Creeks. A picturesque bend of the creek is represented wending its way through a gorge between two ranges of lofty mountains, clothed with trees chiefly of the swamp oak species; a party of diggers occupy the foreground, and exhibit, in a very graphic manner, the excavation of the earth, bringing it in buckets to be washed, the rocking of the cradle, and the washing of the residue in a tin dish or prospecting pan. Different parties of diggers are scattered along the creek as far as the eye can reach. This sketch gives a stranger to Ophir more and better information of the diggings and the modis operandi, at a glance, than could be conveyed by a volume of letter-press description. [Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 1851, p.1, col.5.]

Art Gallery SA: Accession number 796HP33
National Gallery ACT: Accession number2005.516.1-6
National Library Australia: b ID 333193
State Library Victoria: Accession no: H15489


Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976: 5996.


George French Angas (1822 - 1886)

Angas was a painter, lithographer, engraver and naturalist, fourth child and eldest son of George Fife Angas, a merchant and banker. As the eldest son he was expected to join his father's firm, but some months in a London counting house proved a disillusioning experience. In 1841 he took art lessons for four months from Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, a natural history painter and lithographer, and armed with this instruction set out to see the world. He began in the Mediterranean publishing, A Ramble in Malta and Sicily in the Autumn of 1841.......Illustrated with Sketches Taken on the Spot, and Drawn on the Stone by the Author, the following year. Angas's father had established the South Australian Company in 1836 and had large areas of land as well as banking interests in the province. George French sailed for South Australia in 1843 in the Augustus, arriving in Adelaide on 1st January 1844. Within days he had joined an exploring party selecting runs for the South Australia Company. They traveled through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the Murray River and down to Lake Coorong and Angas sketched views of the countryside, native animals and the customs and dwellings of the Narrinyerri people. Later he drew scenes on his father's land - 28,000 acres in the Barossa Valley - and accompanied George Grey's expedition to the then unknown south-east as unofficial artist. In July 1844 Angas visited New Zealand. Guided by two Maoris, he traveled on foot and by canoe through both islands, painting portraits of Maoris and views. Angas's father died in 1879, leaving a vast estate from which George French received only a annuity of 1000 pounds. In 1884 he went to Dominica on a collecting expedition, finding shells, moths, butterflies and birds. Dogged by rheumatism and neuralgia during his last years, Angas died in London on 4 October 1886.

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